For some of us, the start of autumn comes with a tinge of sadness as the doors close on the beaches and barbeques of summer, and life turns indoors once again. However, the changing season doesn’t have to mean the end of nature-inspired designs in your home. Incorporating botanical patterns and natural materials is a simple and stylish way to bring the outdoors in. Read on for my favourite natural decorating ideas to try this weekend.
Embrace natural materials and foraged touches
Natural materials are more beautiful than man-made and give an earthy, authentic feel to your home. If you gravitate towards a relaxed look, opt for rustic wicker, chunky wool and scrubbed oak. Or, if you prefer a more luxurious style, go for polished dark woods and rich leather. For a quick fix, fill an oversized vase with branches of autumn leaves, sculptural seed-heads, and berry sprigs. Foraged finds are an effortless way to give your home a seasonal touch.
Incorporate botanical prints and patterns
From wallpaper and fabrics to crockery and cushions, botanical prints are a key decorating trend this season. Think beyond florals and you’ll find nature-inspired patterns to suit, whatever your style. Delicate fern leaves, skeletal seed-heads and exotic jungle prints will all help bring a sense of the outdoors into your home and lift those winter blues. Don’t feel have to stick with greens either; British designer Clarissa Hulse is the queen of bright botanical textiles that really make a room pop.
Paint with warm colours inspired by nature
Warm colours contain pigments of red, yellow or orange. If you paint your walls with a warm colour palette, this has the effect of drawing in the space, making it feel more intimate, welcoming and inviting. If this is the mood you would like to create, you should select warmer colours as the starting point for your scheme. Look to Mother Nature for inspiration and paint your home with the colours of autumn leaves, earth pigments like terracotta and harvest-inspired neutrals, such as oatmeal and barley.
Add warm wool blankets for cosiness
Nothing makes you feel cosy like wrapping up in a snuggly blanket. Pure wool throws are the best for cold weather as wool not only keeps you warm, it’s also more environmentally friendly than cotton or synthetic fabrics. Berry, damson, olive, and pumpkin are some of my favourite shades for adding autumn colour. Roll-up a selection of wool blankets and pop them in baskets by the sofa and bed, so they’re always ready to grab on movie nights, or when enjoying tea in bed on a chilly Sunday morning.
Light candles with seasonal scents
There’s nothing like scented candles to set the mood and create a relaxing atmosphere. It’s time to put away those fresh summer fragrances and swap them for spicier scents: sandalwood, cinnamon and black pepper are my favourites for autumn. The glow of candlelight is also perfect for giving the illusion of warmth in your home on chilly nights.
Wrap-up and head outdoors regardless!
The end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor activities. Why not pull on some boots, wrap-up in a soft scarf and head out on an autumn picnic? Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment! Pack a basket with a Thermos of hot chocolate, a waterproof picnic rug and enjoy the fresh air and colourful landscapes that autumn has to offer.
About the author: Bethan John is a former interior design journalist and co-founder of The British Blanket Company, a family business selling British-made wool throws, scarves and picnic rugs. With her passion for all things colourful and cosy, we asked her to share her top tips and tricks for creating a warm and welcoming home.